Traditional 70s hairstyles & makeup

Updated March 18, 2017

Make-up and the majority of hairstyles in the 1970s matched the spirit of the time -- plain, natural and low-maintenance. Women wore their hair long, short, puffy, straight and often unkempt. Make-up was toned down with the emphasis more on showing off the skin rather than covering it up.


Essentially a puffy ball of hair, the Afro was created by braiding hair to make it frizzy, so that it grows out away from the head. This style was more common in men but many women sported an Afro too, such as Diana Ross.


Many women in the '70s opted for a natural and simple hippy look. Hair was worn straight and long with fringe -- the hair part was in the centre. Bandannas, headbands and scarves were wrapped around the forehead to accessories the hairstyle.

The Shag

The shag was a messy style that was thin at the bottom but thick at the top -- it was usually quite short. This hairstyle needed little maintenance. Actress Jane Fonda famously wore this hairstyle.


Hair was parted down the centre and layered, and curls faced away from the face. Most feathered haircuts finished slightly below shoulder height. A '70s woman needed natural volume and a good deal of hairspray to pull off this style. Farrah Fawcett, star of Charlie's Angels, made this style famous. The look was often called, "The Farrah."

The Wedge

This style resembled a bowl cut but was tapered into a wedge at the back of the hair. It was short and cute be worn with or without fringe. Dorothy Hamill, the Olympic ice skater, popularised this hairstyle.


Less is more was the message of the '70s when it came to make-up. Women aimed for nude and natural looks. Mascara was rarely used during the day. Pale blue and white eyeliner was occasionally applied and liquid eye shadows were popular. Many women did not wear foundation and those who did left it to shine rather than apply powder. Natural colours were the new trend, especially in blush and lipstick. This lack of make-up did not mean a lack of colour -- women used fake tan to mimic California surfer girls.

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About the Author

Based in the U.K., Martin Cole has been writing since 2009. His articles have been published in "The Evening Chronicle," "The Journal" and "The Sunday Sun." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Northumbria University.